Deer in the Headlights


by Tracy Cooper

Morgan Freeman, George Burns, James Earl Jones. The voice of each of these men, probably because they have played the role in movies, is how I envision the audible voice of God. Strong. Calm. Authoritative. Peaceful.

In the book of Psalm (29:3-9), the Bible describes God’s voice like this:

The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord thunders over the mighty waters. The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is majestic. The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon. He makes Lebanon leap like a calf, Sirion like a young wild ox. The voice of the Lord strikes with flashes of lightning. The voice of the Lord shakes the desert; the Lord shakes the Desert of Kadesh. The voice of the Lord twists the oaks and strips the forests bare. And in his temple all cry, “Glory!”

Wow! Can you imagine experiencing the triumphant voice of the Lord in such a way? Powerful.  Majestic. Thunderous.

I have always wanted to hear God’s voice out loud. I mean a true audible voice. Someone sitting right there having a conversation with me. Unmistakeable. Abraham, Noah, Moses, David and a few lucky others got to experience this long ago.

When I hear God speak, it is usually through scripture, nature, a song, someone else or a thought in my head. Never a loud audible voice from God. Maybe that’s good. It would probably freak me out.

The problem is that I don’t always recognize that He is speaking to me. I question and doubt what I’m seeing, hearing or thinking. Leading me sometimes to brush it off.

But other times I am intrigued. He gets my attention. And I listen.  

No time has ever been more evident than a few years ago when I was traveling down Robious Road at night. It was pitch dark, no street lights and no other cars in front of me.

I tend to have a little bit of a heavy foot when it comes to driving. And that night was no exception. It was late. I had just left a meeting. I wanted to get home.

What better reason to drive just a little bit faster than the speed limit?

While minding my own business and cruising along, I heard a voice in my head say, “Slow down, Tracy”.  

The funny thing is, I actually responded. I asked, “Why?”

“Slow down Tracy”, I heard again. No reason. No explanation. Just a command.

Intrigued. I joined in the conversation. “God, why are you telling me to slow down? There is nobody else on the road. I am almost home.” Ok, some may call this justifying my actions, not having a conversation.  

But then I found myself asking, “Is this going to be like what happened in Florida?”

Hmmm. Why did I just ask that? What triggered that question? That was so many years ago.

My husband Kurt and I were living down in South Florida at the time. I was driving home late one night from a meeting. As I sat at a red light waiting to turn left I realized that the light had been green for several seconds before I made the turn. That was very unusual for me. Unusual enough for me to notice. As I mentioned earlier, I tend to have a heavy foot. When I finally turned, I thought that it was so strange that I sat there for a few seconds. There were no other cars around to delay my left turn. What was that all about?

As I drove down the dark 2-lane road, I didn’t think any more about my hesitation at the light.  Then about 10 minutes later, it happened. I saw headlights coming straight at me in my lane. Seconds before the oncoming car reached me, it fishtailed off the road. Seconds, before hitting me! I know God stalled me at the traffic light. Had I moved as soon as the light turned green, I would have been hit head on ten minutes later.

That incident came flooding back in that instant. It caused me to slow down immediately.

Just then, I turned the blind bend on Robious Road, almost reaching my neighborhood, and there it was. A deer in my headlights. A large, majestic 8-point buck. His body was across my entire lane. Had I not listened and slowed down a few minutes earlier, I would not have been able to stop in time to avoid the collision.

We all have the privilege of hearing God’s voice.  

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. (John 10:27


He speaks to us in so many different ways… a voice, a thought, a friend, a scripture verse, a song, nature, a circumstance, a dream… the opportunities are endless.  Maybe you have even been fortunate enough to hear Him speak to you out loud. If so, I’d love to know if He sounded like any of the voices I mentioned earlier.

Do you hear him? Are you listening? God is speaking to you today.